By Andrew Skotdal
President of S-R Broadcasting Co., Inc. and Chairman of Coastal Community Bank
Alaska’s Paine Field announcement last week was 39 years in the making.
Will Everett see much of a difference? Not right away, but over 15 or 20 years, likely so.
What we hope for now is daily non-stop flights to the Bay Area and San Jose/San Francisco, in particular, a.k.a. “The Nerd Bird.” Flights ferrying engineers
and programmers between the Bay Area and Everett will ultimately cause Silicon Valley companies to consider something unlikely until now, relocating
north of Seattle and Bellevue, perhaps even to Everett.
The median down payment (the dollar amount exactly between the highest and lowest of all home purchases last year) was $192,000 in the South Bay (San Jose,
Santa Clara, etc.), which gets you 20% of a house. Around Marysville, $192,000 buys 50% of a house. The price difference is roughly the same for office
space. Companies can get double the office space for less money here than in San Jose. None of this will change Everett’s fortunes overnight, but in
much the same way the rail lines built cities like Everett in the 19th Century, Alaska’s announcement puts Everett on the 21st Century air lines (and there will be one more, national commercial carrier making an announcement about Paine this year).
Commercial air is one more building block, like maintaining the downtown core so it looks clean, and inviting, and having good schools, that allows Everett
to be ready when an outside company looks to relocate. Local residents may jump at the chance to fly to Las Vegas or Hawaii from Everett, but Everett’s
future is more likely to be impacted by this announcement: “Welcome to flight 541 with non-stop service from San Jose to Everett.”
We’ll all have a front row seat to the exciting changes over time.